Headless mac, is it true GPU won't engage?

rueyloon

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 24, 2013
182
11
Hello
hi, it is true that for a headless macpro, the GPU won't engage unless plugged to a monitor or a dummy device?

Thanks.
 

orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,884
391
UK
what? which macpro?
when you say headless do you mean with no display plunged in?

some more info?
 

orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,884
391
UK
never tried it but as there where macpro servers sold & they have been used for network rendering (there some old cool posts of a guy who had a home render farm with mac pros' with 3-4 GPU's installed from way back if you look) i assume the gpu will work for apps etc

not hard to test if you have access to one i gess?

i assume this is for macpro as home server or render node ?
 

ScottishCaptain

macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2008
872
474
Yup, it's true.

You can buy something like a FIT Headless HDMI dongle to trick OS X into firing up the GPU drivers. If you buy one of these, make sure you get the non-4K model as the one that emulates a 4K display doesn't work properly with 10.10+ and network logins via Screen Sharing (you won't be able to select a non-HiDPI resolution, and the display scaling will screw up the network display).

-SC
 

orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,884
391
UK
wow thats odd and lame that you have to trick it in to thinking there is a display, how did apple sell macpros as servers??
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,689
1,951
Many "servers" did not need to utilize GPU while Apple was still selling the X-SERVE. When the Mac Pro started "replacing" those units after the X-SERVE was discontinued, these solutions started to appear.

There are many cheap HDMI, DisplayPort, and miniDisplayPort dongles that virtualize display to engage GPU to improve performance for VNC and screen sharing style connections. SOME people who setup render farms on Macs back in the day utilized them as well, but those have moved to mostly PC/Windows or cloud-based these days.

If you're running a full-time server on Mac, spending $10 on a headless adapter is the least of your concerns right now. The removal of true server features from the OS is probably your top concern.
 

orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,884
391
UK
ah from today's viewpoint i failed to see the past :rolleyes: thanks for the contextualization
 

haralds

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2014
1,208
360
Silicon Valley, CA
Using one on my mini. First I used Thunderbolt version before I got smart enough to use the HDMI. Needed the Thunderbolt for a USB3/SATA adapter.
 

mcnallym

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2008
724
229
Yup, it's true.

You can buy something like a FIT Headless HDMI dongle to trick OS X into firing up the GPU drivers. If you buy one of these, make sure you get the non-4K model as the one that emulates a 4K display doesn't work properly with 10.10+ and network logins via Screen Sharing (you won't be able to select a non-HiDPI resolution, and the display scaling will screw up the network display).

-SC

I have a fit headless hdmi 4k version and works fine. Worked through 10.10, 10.11,0.12 and now 10.3.

I have a Zotac 680Gb 4Gb version flashed with the available EFI so get boot screens and everything.

run my 5,1 headless and screen share from 2009 mini with Apple LED Cinema Display and no problems with screen sharing at all.
 

Flint Ironstag

macrumors 65816
Dec 1, 2013
1,155
640
Houston, TX USA
It was a long time ago, but I swear there was a software (OS or ARD) method to manually set the desired resolution on a headless MacOS server. Definitely haven't seen it in a while.
 

Synchro3

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
1,979
835
My GTX Titan X reacts allergic (no screen) if I don't switch my monitor on before the Mac Pro. So I would say yes, it's the same as with the Mac Mini.
 
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